May 30, 2013
February 27, 2013
February 23, 2013
If you need to make it this complicated, I don’t trust you
Earlier today, dropped car at shop. Had a coupon. As I handed the coupon over, I mentioned that if it wasn’t for the timing – car needs oil change and a new battery – I wouldn’t have come here, and the coupon didn’t really help. The guy looked puzzled. I could almost visualize the thought balloon over his head; “you came here with a coupon, and you are telling me that BECAUSE of the coupon you almost didn’t come to us?!” Exactly.
“Now, how is this possible?!” Easily.
To his credit, instead of letting the balloon talk, the guy said, “Please tell me more, I know we keep trying different promotions.”
“This one is not helping your business,” I said, as I handed him over the coupon, printed on heavy, glossy paper. He started reading the fine print, squinting only a little. There was a lot to read.
Silence. Done reading, the guy said with a sigh, “yes, I see what you mean.”
Will he? I don’t know. The car should be out today. I doubt their marketing is in. I’m in for over $1,200 he said, in the later hours of the afternoon. And no, no car for me today. That’s NOT fine, printed or not.
The coupon point? If you want to attract me to your business, do it in few large bold letters. Looking like a wireless provider contract, trust is not what your coupon and promotion will generate.
Addiction is a bad word. Really.
I don’t think of my joy of having multiple mobile containers as an addiction. Call it a hobby, passion, mean of self-expression? Doesn’t matter; don’t care.
Now how would you get me to click on your bags-promoting ad?
Here’s the how not: Do not tease me with “addicted to purses?
Addiction, to any substance, object, anything, is not a positive experience; there’s nothing to be proud of. There’s nothing good about it. One may choose to describe oneself as x-addict. But this usually comes with an apologetic smile. Think of it as the ‘a-word.’ You can use it to describe yourself, others should not.
How many movies and TV shows come with the almost inevitable “my name is X, and I’m an addict” scene? Many. It delivers a strong, dramatic moment. It’s delivers one taking responsibility to one’s faults, failures, shortcomings. Thinking current TV shows, Elementary, Law & Order UK, and Private Practice are but three among the many that come with such scene. And, surprise, surprise, addict is not how anyone wants to be called, true or not. Can you recall a scene where the group says “hello, your name is John, and you are an addict?” I don’t think so.
And this is how your hip campaign manager chose to promote the brand and get my click? Ain’t happening. Hey, I won’t even share your brand name/link. Bad ad!
Marketing, call it art; call it science, mock it, enjoy it. But hey, don’t underestimate it. And please, if you do it, do it right.
December 31, 2012
Artist: Something of that Ilk
i found it on Dan Ariely’s Facebook page
happy, bias-free new year to us all.
the artist however, is not a psychology student. instead, he is currently a senior in both Computer Science and Mathematics. about this he says: “If you never want to see the light of day again, follow in my footsteps.”
September 23, 2012
An observation: nobody that I know or can think off, from the most observant to the most ignorant, says “I’m sorry.” “Gmar Hatima Tova” is the common wish and greeting. Thinking of the importance of asking for the forgiveness of the people in one’s life, I wonder how the observant settles the abyss between the fasting, the many long hours of praying to atone the wrong doing of year past, hoping God will see it your way, and doing nothing about the people you hurt, offended, bad-mouthed, gossiped about?
Asking for the forgiveness of a person, via phone, SMS, email or the hardest – face-to-face while maintaining eye contact – is so much harder than praying or fasting.
So let me say it out right. I am not perfect. I offended few people this past year, and I try very hard not to let myself easily off by saying that they hurt me too, hurt me first, hurt me more. This is my Yom Kippur, my Slicha, [and birthday too].
And I’m sorry, for the impatience, for the disrespect, for self-centered moments, for overdose of directness some of you rather I didn’t employ. And yet, there are two things I am sorry for, regret most and want to self-inflict a mental Tashlich on my mind.
First, is the sin of holding a grudge, of maintaining or nourishing the offense, the insult, the hurt, the anger, self-righteousness. Last February, on a fun-free visit in Israel, I was speechless [only for a moment, really] to find out that my mom had been holding a grudge [based on a complete misunderstanding] against a friend since 2004. Pointing out the very obvious stupidity of the unjustified sense of offence was met with the stubbornness of “I’ve been angry and offended by this for so long, why stop now?” duh?!
Now, seven months later, as Yom Kippur approaches, I want to clean my slate of grudges, offenses, bad air, ill-feelings I’ve been carrying around for no good reason. Time to let go.
Here’s my Tashlich list:
The anger of your using my love for you to your advantage. Off you go.
The lingering offense for your treating me as a lesser person than you, the disrespect you showed, your patronizing “I’m so much smarter than you” attitude. Out of my head, vanish. I should not seek the company of such.
The pain of being forgotten by you that I carry around. Let the past be the past. Moving on.
The anger of letting you treat me with disrespect, while I say nothing and yet hold it against you. No more. Out of my system, now.
The frustration with your demanding of me what you don’t demand of yourself. No more. I shall do what I think is right, and call out your double-standard as it happens. Will no longer allow it to be a voice ringing in my head, but make it a part of our dialog.
Allowing myself to be put down by your insensitivity, not to say self-centered view – no more.
The prayer says something like “…He does not maintain His wrath forever, for He desires [to do] kindness. He will again show us mercy, He will suppress our iniquities and He will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” I am much more comfortable with my version. The idea of figuratively emptying my awareness of all grudges [rather than the pockets of my jacket] has its appeal though. More so if one gets to do it in, let’s say Half Moon Bay.
I’m sorry if any of this makes you feel uncomfortable. This is as hard if not harder than asking for your slicha. Now that I hold no grudges for or against you, there’s room for new, fresh, more positive, healthier experiences for us to share. And I think this is great. Almost. Got to clear one more thing.
So much has been written about the pursuit of happiness. It’s part of the deceleration of independence of the USA. It’s a great movie. It’s what we so want to have in our life. But…
And this “but” is so much greater than i ever imagined. Think, which you are more familiar with, “I’m happy,” or “I’m happy, but…?” What do you say or expect to hear more?
In past weeks, I found myself offering “I’m happy” + a smile to the inquiring ones among you. Surprisingly, more than once, what I got was a consecutive but. Sometimes, it wasn’t even an audible but; it was the sound of silence. The silence of the but.
The “I’m so happy for you” that eventually came was sincere, mostly, but…The but was there nonetheless. And it got me thinking.
Why is it that we expect “happy, but?” After all, just like everything else, iPhone5 included, Life isn’t perfect. When i say “I’m happy,” I’m NOT saying “everything is perfect.” I’m saying that things are as great as they could possibly be right now, therefore I’m happy.” Things could be better, really. And they could be much worse. So here i am, in this moment, happy. Why is this need to limit the happy? Restrict is with a but? Is but the new Ltd.?
Who are those but Sayers?
First, there’s the cynical know-it-all-too-well. Things can’t be this good, and if they are, it won’t last long, and something, many-a-thing can go wrong, and will. Be prepared, don’t let yourself be happy. Wakeup is painful. So come-on and spit it out. You are happy but… what aren’t you saying? When will the honeymoon be over?
Second, there’re those who know-me-all-too-well. Their line of thinking goes like this: “we heard you before, the but is coming, we wait for the other shoe [read: but] to drop. So yes, i do tend to take the good for granted, assume that you can see and realize the good for yourself, therefore there’s no need for me to point it out… often not making enough room to recognize and enjoy the good. This is my other Tashlich challenge. I recognize that omitting the good, obvious as it may be, distorts the picture. So throw this one away too, off with this bias. I shall call out the good and the not so good, acknowledging both. New Year, the year of & [no more the year of the but].
Thirds are those who aren’t happy with where, what and how they are. It’s not that they don’t want me to be happy; they don’t like the idea of me, or anyone else for that matter, being happier than they are. The notion of anyone [outside the characters of the Princess Bride] being perfectly happy doesn’t really appeal to them. For these, the bigger the but, the happier they are. After all, why should you or I be happy if they are not? It sounds so petty, that it got me wondering what do i say when I’m the listener. Do I say “I’m so happy for you, tell me more?” Do I say “be careful, watch out, things can’t be as good as you think they are”? Do I think it, feeling the wiser, yet say nothing? Seating here enjoying an amazing Californian Fall day, I challenge my mind to be happy first, and second. My trouble or struggle should never cloud your neither your happiness, nor your sharing of it.
Not sure any of this applies to you? A couple of weeks ago, over coffee @ the Sufi café [which deserves a chapter all of its own] I outlined the “but observations” to a friend. Her immediate response was that it all has to do with me. That it is because my friends are used to me usage of that inevitable “but” they now expect it. “Oh no,” i laughed. “Let me replay to you two of the personal experiences that you just shared. BOTH followed this template: I’ve changed/learned/improved/am better/happy… BUT…”
As much as she didn’t like to admit it, she could not deny the presence of the but.
Happy New Year, Happy Yom Kippur clearance. Looking forward to having and sharing many happy experiences with you, and no buts.
September 19, 2012
August 4, 2012
See on Scoop.it – dig marketing
i don’t know that exterior design can fix the alameda. however, metal wall is not my idea of inviting design. Quote: “The design of Whole Foods on The Alameda has to be betterSan Jose Mercury NewsWhole Foods likes to say that it aims to “surprise and delight” its customers.”
See on www.mercurynews.com
See on Scoop.it – dig marketing
The AgeApple heads tell secrets of phone designThe AgeWITH Apple Inc legend Steve Jobs gone and the chief executive, Tim Cook, conspicuously absent, Apple has put two of its rock-star executives on the stand as ammunition in its multibillion-dollar…
See on www.theage.com.au
July 3, 2012
See on Scoop.it – dig marketing
BBC NewsApple under fire over Italian product warrantiesBBC NewsApple’s stores and facilities in Italy could be shut down for 30 days because of a row about product warranties.Italy not letting Apple off the hook for illegal warranty policyGigaOMApple…
See on www.bbc.co.uk
June 9, 2012
In this viral video, a man frolics through Ikea, futility attempting to woo a woman using Ikea furniture.
If you can be convinsingly passionate about IKEA’s product names, you can be passionate about anything.
See on mashable.com
June 3, 2012
i want a phone that is smart enough to be my best loyal assistant, always available, ready, with my meetings, contacts & friends, emails, reminders and the rest of my life. i want to prioritize, sort and group my contacts and emails in a click or a touch. i want to be able to assign a unique ring, vibe and volume to certain people and events, and totally ignore others. i want all of the above to transparently sync with all my devices; all EIGHT of them, including laptops and desktops, iToy and my designated international SIMs phone. i want a GPS that connects in nanoseconds, not minutes, and always knows and tells me where i am and where i need to go, BEFORE I missed the turn. i want a browser that shows me everything that i am looking for, not a skinny version that forces me to look for an invisible “go to full site” button. i want to stream music without having to wait between verses or songs. i am OK with using an app for each need, but i don’t want to have to look for it among 100s of apps. i want text-to-speech and speech-to-text. i want a real QWERTY and a great touch screen. And before I forget, I want to make and receive phone calls with GOOD voice quality, not from the depth of the deep sea, with low sensitivity to the wind and background noise and lab-type sensitivity to conversation. Lastly and critically, i want a battery that lasts as long as i do, and is happy with as many [few] recharge hours as i do.
WHERE IS THAT PHONE? Take me there.
i didn’t forget the games. However, for a phone that will do all of the above, i will happily go without any game. i wasn’t kidding when i said i miss my blackberry. for a long time, it delivered on over a half of the list above. sadly, it neglected to progress with the market, and stopped to deliver on the missing items, nor improved on the performance of the already existing part. The Waterloo-based innovation that started RIM, froze in the Canadian winter, and the innovation that bloomed in the valley and changed the mobile world was not listened to, not considered a game changer or a threat.
I am a happy first-to-admit that no tablet, no device i tried, is better than the iToy when it comes to content consumption. any content i can think of. weather, news, travel, entertainment, edutainment… it’s a truly sweet fruit to eat, but far from being enough for a perfect diet.
i am happy to admit that the number of apps available for both my iToy and Android phone is mindboggling compared to the pathetic offering from BlackBerry. i love that i now have not one, but FOUR portable SONOS controllers, one original, 2 Android phones and one iToy. the original controller cost $399 [now $349]. all the others require is a free app.
i am happy to admit that finally i have a couple of games that i do play and even enjoy, the last one being 100 Floors from Tobi Apps Limited [don’t bother to click. Last I’ve checked it was an empty page. Am happy to wait as they add more floors]
but… i am extremely FRUSTRATED with the pain called managing my calendar and address book across my devices.
Google calendar outlook sync works on two computers, but not on the others. contacts sync is a one way street and it’s not a true sync, and i can’t find one that will sync all devices. outlook/blackberry sync required a cable and a PC in the middle, but at least it WORKED. and i had support when needed – thank you RIM.
so, after a couple of months of BlackBerry no more, here i am, wishing for a phone that i’d be really passionate about, that I’d be excited about using and telling you about it. and there’s none.
tool or toy
i think of my mobile smart first of all as a tool, a productivity attachment if you will. this is the part that RIM got right. and a good tool should easily fit on your tool belt. it’s not a coincidence that BlackBerry was the only smartphone that shipped with a carrying case by default. and it wasn’t a fashion statement. it was black, functional and mostly ugly. AND useful. i can’t find solid data re the size of the Android and iPhone cases and protectors market. must be millions, with items going for anything from $8 and up, up, up. in 2009, TechCrunch estimated the mobile accessories market worth at $63 billion, and the average mobile phone owner spends roughly $60 on accessories over the life of their phone. it takes no genius to assume that iPhone first and Android lagging behind are the pampered devices and that the market grows as fast as the devices market or faster. after all, it’s not a far fetched idea buy shoes, bag and a matching phone. a fashion statement case or designer speakers cannot compare to the utilitarian accessories BlackBerry had.
fact: iPhone is becoming the dominant device among the working geeks, nerds and everyone else.
and sad fact: the more sharing among you admit how less friendly and much harder it is to do your emails on these toys, compared to BB.
May 28, 2012
since then, my war-against-women-dar is more sensitive than ever. equal but different pretty much sums my idea of gender equality, easily illustrated by the two sides of one coin. anything that treats women as less than that is indeed war on women. maybe this is why i find the following ad so annoying. have you seen, or hopefully fast-forwarded this TV ad for droid?
Lou Mulford, playing the annoying, can’t-let-go mother, introduced the video post on YouTube, as a “..Spoof on the empty nest syndrome (which I personally know too well) all in good silly fun.” [ALL her own words]. Responding to a question, she added, “It was a full day. We were asked to deliver all the lines a multitude of ways for each of the angle and shot set ups. I don’t remember the exact number for that line. Didn’t seem like too many.”
“fun” is not what comes to mind. nor funny. As far as i’m concerned, presenting the mother-daughter bond as an uber emotional, irrational, incoherent whine and mumble, with the mother’s exaggerated empty nest/separation anxiety is nothing but insulting. as it should be to any women. the idea that a pair of droids will fix it all?… with some help from a cool, crisp salesman who is happy to accommodate the neurotic.
i recall one of the women degrading chauvinistic pig sayings that was common in Israel years back. “be beautiful and shut up”. sadly, this ad makes me wish… that the two gals please shut up.
more annoying than the wee wee Geico pig.
and pig it is indeed. Two weeks after Safeway’s legal counsel found it a great bargain to trade pigs for powerful women, my tolerance towards anything women-degrading is low to non–existing. when i think of all the legal measures that constitute the war on women in multiple states, Verizon’s sense of humor is bad taste wrong. Verizon, may be, is against the change of outfit and persona of T-Mobile’s alter ego who threw all her girly cutesy pink dresses on the floor, replacing them with the cool, not-so-cute leather biker gear…
a good laugh truly helps a commercial deliver its message. so is a load of touchy-feely. and yet, i find Verizon’s ill-choice of stereotypes as bad as the degrading, racist Metro PCS ads of Ranjit and Chad.
Verizon, you can do better than this. and indeed you should!
after having a long interesting conversation with Annette [thank you for tolerating and answering all my questions!] about women’s role, function, impact and power, i wonder how far we really progressed, and how far we have yet to go, PUSH feels more like it, considering the recent regression led by the GOP.
Annette, in her own words: “PUSH is the operative word. Has American culture progressed in its attitudes towards women? Yes and no. American culture is patriarchal and women, and pretty much anyone who is not a white male, are treated as ‘others’. The ramifications of how that operates in our society show up everywhere. It is very insidious – and the Verizon commercial is a great example of that. I recommend watching the documentary Miss Representation to really GET the way media portrays girls and women.
Have we progressed? Some. In the last 200 years, women have the right to own property, decide if they want to get pregnant, and laws protect women from rape – at least for now.
It is, and will be, a slow transformation happening generation by generation. I think of it this way – my daughter was born in a world with camera phones, iPads, and ideas about what it means to be a woman in this culture. Her expectations are already vastly different than mine at her age. And her daughter’s expectations will be even broader – that I promise.” Annette‘s words.
May 19, 2012
I can’t even begin to tell you, mostly because I don’t really know. One doesn’t keep count on the number of brainstorming sessions one sits through.
I fondly remember only a handful of brainstorming sessions that offered the great experience of letting your mind loose, setting it free, see it wonder above, below and around the problem at hand. Just SAY it; we’ll bring in reality, feasibility, budget, people and all other limitations and constraints later. Just say it.
Somehow, brainstorming became so main stream that it no longer requires a brain, and there’s no storm in those meeting rooms, unless it’s in your cup of tea.
Welcome to the age of brainsnoring.
the brainstorming hype cascaded to any meeting. we facilitate meetings, “engage” participants, seek input and opinion from everybody. thing is that more often than not, we don’t really want to listen.
In a recent workshop, the facilitator asked us all to creatively THINK of the value proposition of the product discussed.
i was expecting the usual “let’s pretend that we are brainstorming, nicely write all your [not so] cool ideas on a flipchart, only to ignore them altogether, and show you the perfect, brilliant slides I already have”. Instead, and to my surprise, shifting to amusement, ending with a chuckled smile, this facilitator took it a step further. no flipchart, no listening pretense . Instead, we were to “think about it.”
There was a pause for 10 seconds; maybe it was 15. WAIT.
And then it was “next slide,” taking over the screen with the precious “as we discussed, in this slide we can see the benefits…”
Fact: it saves time, paper and trees. Fact: Research has failed to support the claims that group brainstorming could generate more ideas than individuals working alone. actually, there are is plenty of research demonstrating the opposite effect: groups brainstorming together produce fewer ideas than individuals working separately [relaying on Wikipedia's "Productivity Loss in Idea-Generating Groups: Tracking Down the Blocking Effect". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 61 (3): 392–403. 1991"].
So what if we were not discussing the next angry birds or trying to figure out where’s my water. We so needed some creativity in the room, some energized minds, spirits that are happy to actively contribute.
Brainsnoring is what we got. I didn’t even have to look at the screen; there were handouts. No brain required.
i think of one of the most torturous brainstorming sessions I ever endured. in a good way. There were only three of us, and we were struggling to revise a business model and licensing for a product that had an open-source as well as a licensed source components. Current model wasn’t working as expected and a change was needed.
We spent over 3 hours in that room, covering white board, taking a picture, recovering the white board with ides, flows, opportunities… we were laughing, we were frustrated, we were impatient and… we listened and didn’t give up, we didn’t dismiss, we discussed. People knocked, entered and left quickly. It was intense.
And, we came up with some new ideas and approaches. Yet it was only in the follow-up session, a day later,when we could really see the value of that session.
So what does it take? Why true brainstorming sessions are so rare?
Here’s what I know:
- We knew each other, worked together for a couple of years
- We like each other and there’s a lot of mutual respect, including the many things that we don’t agree on
- We knew that what is said in the room stays in the room
- We shared a common goal
- No one pulled rank, clout or any passive-aggressive act
- We made fools of ourselves in front of each other before, and survived unscratched
Also, one of us wouldn’t leave a stone, a statement, or an idea unturned. He questioned every assumption and didn’t allow us to treat anything as an axiom. It worked. It was hard, exhausting and ended with a conclusion we all agreed to live with and work on. how often do we get this? rarely.
what we are familiar with is the political, pre-arranged pre-staged power games that dictate, limit, and censor people’s thoughts, ideas, urge to put an original idea on the table. No one wants to take a risk.
And so we snore.
Clipart sources:- http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT55MEKmMhr4VuRFGvnqB_4I5zTPaPwHM_gMAyQ6wjQeEVWX_wBpBZAwjSf6Q - http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ljz5b6bd8q1qzg4luo1_r2_500.jpg - http://yaelol.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/2007-07-13-brainstorming.gif?w=297 - http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoons/cartoonists/tcr/lowres/tcrn120l.jpg
May 13, 2012
a couple of weeks ago, over a warm latte and a cappuccino, Eran and I were discussing communication. you’d expect that sharing the same language and culture, miscommunication will never join our conversations. and you’d be wrong, very wrong. experience has taught us that trouble-free communication is much harder to maintain than one would imagine. that old practice of repeating what you think the other said is invaluable.
our discussion however, was about passive-aggressive practices that have become standard in American culture, as experienced by us.
I’m on the phone with a friend. we have covered the catching up, the lows, the highs, the ups and downs since we last talked, exchanged ideas, encouraged each other where needed and we are done. and i can’t wait for the inevitable “…OK, i’m gonna let you go now,” and i find it well, I-N-T-E-R-E-S-T-I-N-G. we both do.
i wonder what’s wrong with:
- talk to you later
- hey, got to go back to those slides/laundry/report/mess i call my desk…
- so happy we caught up
- my ear is burning, sorry
- we need to do this more often, i’m sorry i didn’t call sooner, time to go
- so when will we meet?
- break is over, time to dive in this #$%@ again
- sorry, it’s gonna get noisy here, need my next latte now
- i’m so happy you called, i should do it more
there’s endless number of possible endings, and yet, we get the “I’m gonna let you go.” or, sometimes, we get its close relative, namely, “you must be very busy…”
come on. what are you really saying? if you need or want to go, just say so. I’ll take no offense. promise. but please don’t use me as your excuse. passive-aggressive means using indirect aggressive behavior instead of direct aggressiveness. so you think that sending me off when you are the one who wants to go is not passive-aggressive? think again. or… you could wait a minute, as I also am probably close to having enough of you; so let me end it, directly and promptly, if you can’t do it. i respect you enough to do that.
“i’m gonna let you go, now.” really? and do i need to point out the similarity to the workplace’s “i’m sorry, we gonna let you go?”
first of all, i can go whenever i want to. you are not holding me, and i’m not tied to the cordless. i enjoy our conversation. secondly, didn’t communication 101 teach you to own YOUR feelings, thoughts, wants and needs? don’t tell me that I need to go, that I got things to do, tell me that YOUR soup is boiling, that your deadline is arriving, say how you feel and what you think. TELL ME THE TRUTH.
is “i’m gonna let you go now” the best you can do? haven’t we known each other long enough to be honest with each other?
interestingly enough, i can recall only women saying this, but no men. so if i put my repressed woman hat on, i could argue that women got so used to taking care of others, putting others’ needs ahead of theirs, that they are preconditioned to express their feelings in terms of the others’ feelings. but, this won’t fly. i have too much respect for my women friends to settle for this.
earlier today, already having this post on my mind, and talking to one of my dear girlfriends, i waited patiently for the inevitable “I’m gonna let you go.” surely enough, it came. i apologized and reflected back to her. in return i got a long, healthy laugh. followed with agreement. and more laughs.
i’m gonna let you go now.
May 14, evening: Update
reported by women: men do that to, i.e. end calls with “i’m gonna let you go.” and to the DISLIKE of the wife at the receiving end. honoring the commentators privacy, all i can say is that some experience this passive-aggressive act much worse than me. happy to voice your feelings. thank you for the touching sharing.
March 26, 2012
I know, I’m not the most obvious Hip-Hop fan, and there are more than enough songs of this genre that I think of as impossible to listen to. However, and against the critic and judgment of some of my better friends, there are more and more songs of this genre that I’d love to take with me to that deserted island that everyone wants to take their music to. I much rather enjoy the music in the comfort of my living room, as long as the neighbors are not complaining about the volume, and we are not trying to actually have a conversation. So Hip hop it is. But not without some observations and reservations. In rock, I never bought into the belief that one has to wave one’s long hair in all directions to deliver a better, higher quality performance. I think they were called the big hair bands. After watching too much of the Hip Hop Shop on Fuse, i have my little Hip Hop you-DON’T-have-to list.
You don’t have to
Include neither half-naked, nor butt-naked bimbos in the video for it to be successful.
Blow lots of Benjamins in the wind for the audience to know you are successful
Write shawty into the lyrics. Really. A song can stand on its own, and succeed without shwaty.
Include the n-word in the lyrics. Or the song’s name. and then ask the whites NOT to use the song’s name? Can you imagine Gene Simmons including “Jew” or “Jewish” in the lyrics of every KISS song. Or any of the derogatory alternatives.
Shot a $250K+ car in the video. Or mention your Maybach in the lyrics. I won’t think any less of the song without a fancy car reference.
Tell me your name. You are most likely the reason I chose to listen to the song. Trust me; I do remember your name. If you have difficulties remembering your name, one of those heavy weights you carry around your neck can hold your name for you as a reminder. I don’t think I can say anything remotely positive about your engraving of your stage name on your body. Are you that forgetful? Need people to recognize your back?
Touch yourself. Pet your nature-given equipment and accessories. Rearrange them. Don’t know what to do with your hands? Exercise your hand grip. It’ll look better, yet will be as irrelevant as keeping your hands in your crotch is.
Use all the banned words the media won’t broadcast or beep over. Can you imagine how great it is to listen to your song without having to guess what you were saying? I swear it is possible to express yourself without make use of every 4-letter word you ever heard and then some. Nicki Minaj’s Starships is the latest in including words that radio doesn’t like. I have to admit, it makes me laugh every time I hear the distorted sounds masking the mother-f$%&#$. Does it sell more? I doubt it.
Give it a try. Hey, you may find it refreshing. And maybe, just maybe, getting rid of the same old, same old will allow you some new creativity? New moves? Will give shawty a break? I’m sure I could get my mom to enjoy some of these truly amazing songs if the videos were not so out of her comfort zone.
There are enough videos that don’t have any of the components listed about, and boy, aren’t they amazing?
I choke every time Lil Wayne’s “How to Love” is on. And it’s not because he left his shirt at home. The life story of the girl, from her mother’s unplanned motherhood via prostitution to HIV is told with such sensitivity that I literally choke every time.
Sources:Getting ready to torch the Maybach: http://www.caradvice.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/maybach-otis-landaulet-1-625×350.jpg Otis-Pure joy: http://cdn.hiphopdx.org//images/news/1-the-throne-jay-z-kanye-west.jpg Hand grip: http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2008/10/06/article-0-02EC02AF00000578-87_468x430.jpg Flo Rida: http://wegotitfirst.w.e.pic.centerblog.net/d0hpcy3u.jpg Nicki Minaj: http://29.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lpn0ioB60a1r1om0bo1_500.png Rihanna: http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQS_fcYYP9KuCWaMXPkTO_tlIVMyDsiGhIBYWgUoJL2A30_wVPNmvY28xz5 50 cents, got money: http://www.hiphop-musik.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/50_cent_money-1.jpg Lil Wayne, how to love: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8Gf4-eT3w0 Otis Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoEKWtgJQAU&hd=1
February 20, 2012
our parents are within us, whether we know it, acknowledge it, like it… or not.
December 31, 2011
This year has been an unusual one. The greatest moments to cherish, remember, smile and learn from, moments loaded with care, love, attention, rewards, support and wisdom, were friends’ moments. Sadly, so were the most painful disappointments. It’s the year of the most amazing birthday cake I ever had side-by-side with the most painful friendship-related disappointments from friends that their need to be right and smart came miles ahead of our friendship. I called it and blogged it as “blinded by our vision,” recognizing that many of us, too often, let our predispositions dictate our perception, even when staring at reality.
It was only yesterday when S.S. told me “I know you gonna say it’s an ugly photo, because everybody else says it’s beautiful”. So I refused to look at the photo. When she made noises of offense, I said with a smile, “you already told the whole room what I’m going to think and say, why do I need to bother looking at it? You decided all on your own what I’ll think.” Needless to say, she didn’t like it. I did. And so did the others in the room, though only one did so vocally. Sadly, I know the point didn’t get across. Oh well.
This was the year in which I thanked friends and colleagues more than ever before, more than I can remember. and it was all well deserved and more. And this also is the year in which I deleted from my address book people I used to think of as friends but not anymore.
Luckily and amazingly for me, the good, loving, caring friendships surpass the bad ones in light years. Thank you all; each and every one of you!
This is the year that I decided to eradicate passive-aggressiveness from my life as much as I possibly can. Anyone who called to ask “why haven’t you called me” was welcome to talk to someone else. I figured that the proper opening of a call, INSTEAD of the P-A opening quoted above, is to simply say “hi, I miss you; miss talking to you, what’s up?” It did and does wonders to the conversation, to the friendship, to life. Both of us smile and enjoy what follows.
This was the year of change, neither one, nor two. Who’d imagine I’d last 7 months and counting of gym torture? Who’d thought that I’ll get over a hopeless situation and the only frustration that lingers is the one regarding how long it took me to reach the insights that were there for me to learn from. This is the year that I learned and shared a lot about my dad’s past. Made him cry in the process, yet got to know so much more about him. This is the first year EVER that I haven’t been to Israel, not even once. Home, identity, roots, friends, being single and alone and learning to admit I hate it, career, this was an unbelievable year. I’m so happy that 2011 has only a couple of hours of life left. It’s a year to remember, but not to miss.
What do I wish for the New Year? I don’t have any grandiose, greater than life wishes or resolutions. More than making big NEW decisions, commitments, promises… I want to continue or end old ones.
Feel free to call me out if I fail to follow. Seriously.
In this coming year, I wish for you and me,
- Do more ____________________ [GYM: more workout, more gym torture, increase frequency, do those intervals, they are good for you; home cooking; flossing; listening; processing…]
- Do less _____________________ [eating badly, talking, talking back, talking before thinking…]
- Be more ____________________ [patient, happy, considerate…]
- Stop [as much as you can] _____________________ [teasing people who don’t get it, people who get it but don’t like it; procrastinating doing the things I don’t like doing…]
- Be more of the person and the friend I want to be, even when it’s hard, embarrassing, challenging
- Do better _____________________ [in the admin parts of life, from bills to tickets, moving those bags from the car to Goodwill, unpacking after a trip…]
And you know what, I don’t know how you will fill the blanks, but I can tell you one thing. If I’ll manage to follow and execute on those humble 2012 goals and practices, it’ll be a wonderful year.
May you have the best year you wish for!
December 11, 2011
November 26, 2011
PLEASE remember to click the link to donate at the end of this chapter. or you could do it HERE and now.
Eran, bored with beads, was going through my pile of catalogs awaiting its leap to the recycle bin, when he burst laughing out loud. His audience of two gave him funny looks. Then he started reading aloud: “The Most Important Gift Catalog in the World.” Dramatic pause. “Here it how it works:
You decide to donate a sheep in honor of your mother, who has always loved these gentle animals.”
It doesn’t say if your mom loves the sheep in her plate, as a source contributor to her scarf, or otherwise.
Eran read on: “your mother receives a holiday gift card from you, describing the generous contribution you’ve made in her honor. Thanks to your gift, one more family is on the road to self-reliance.”
OK, with enough drama in one’s voice, you gotta laugh, independent of how warm and fuzzy the idea is. Instead of getting your mom yet another gift she doesn’t really care for, you donate a real animal to real people who need it.
But WAIT, there’s more. There’s no animal discrimination. Sheep, goats, cows, pigs, a flock of chicks – all are donate-able and worthy of your mother’s love. In Honduras, a trio of rabbits is welcome. Honeybees are welcome from Uganda to El Salvador.
A quick search later, it seems that this is the new trend in gifting. Most frequently the living donation is four-legged, and the kind of gift that keeps on giving; milk, honey, manure.
What if you are concerned that your mom won’t appreciate the animal gift? There are other organizations that offer gifts of service. It costs $100 to restore the eyesight of a child. Seeds for change is a $50 donation that will provide a Native family with organic heirloom seeds and tools to grow healthy food such as beans, corn and squash.
Back to the sheep, and it’s not a sheep named Dolly, it’s a real sheep that make immediate difference in people’s life.
Looking as the cartoon below earlier, this idea of animal and service gifting feels more right than ever. Got so much to be thankful for that giving, instead of indulging, feels just right.
Feels so right that I am going to do something I’ve never done before. I urge you to join me in giving a sheep [or two]. Heifer, whose catalog’s intro provided the laughs described earlier will be the vehicle for it.
The gift of sheep is $120. I think that together we could easily raise two.
As little as $10 will get you a share of the sheep, and the honor card to mail to your mother, daughter or whomever.
Interested? Ready to give your share of the sheep? About a sheep donation page awaits you. Think giving.
Art sources:http://free.clipartof.com/54-Free-Cartoon-Sheep-Clipart-Illustration.jpg http://jimbenton.com/page5/files/Jim%20Benton%20Heifer%20International.jpg https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/386619_296231977077893_125955227438903_981590_142003996_n.jpg http://jonathanturley.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/charity.jpg
November 20, 2011
this one is to Eric, my dear torturer, and Eran who initiated my gym journey of pain.
“When I say jump, you say how high
I ain’t never seen nobody-ody get so high
Like a bird, like a plane, this party-arty insane
This party-arty insane, so jump jump jump jump!”
In the past six months, I spent at least half of my time in pain. Simple, basic physical pain in which my body sends pain messages when I get up, sit down, walk, climb the stairs. Muscles and ligaments protest, I hurt, and they call it progress.
It started with Eran’s gift of gym membership and a set of personal torture sessions. “Guilt” says Eran, “is just like potential. If you don’t use it, it goes to waste.” How could I not use a gift that cares for my physical well-being? Can’t.
It was sheer luck that the Marine-style torturer Eran and I picked from the list wasn’t available. Instead, a week later, Eric was offered as a good fit.
In our intro meeting, Eric’s first question was, “what are your goals coming to the gym?” I gave him the kind of look that questions one’s basic intelligence. “This is a gym, people come here to suffer, I got a gift, I am here to use it” I said, omitting the “you gotta be kidding.” Yet, he insisted; “now that you are here, what are your goals?”
“well, if you insist, my goals would be
- Unhate the gym
- Stop wishing that no one talks to me in my first 5 minutes in the office – so they won’t notice my short breath after climbing the stairs
- Get in a better shape.”
To his credit, he didn’t flinch too much with the “unhate the gym.”
And so our torturer–tortured affair started. My 1st task was to teach him the true meaning of PT, i.e. Personal Torturer. I also had to teach him some basic English. 1st English lesson: in proper English “today we are going to have some fun” is translated to “today i’m gonna make you hurt. Expect no fun.” Through our first month, while Eric was learning English, my muscles were learning pain. Who’d imagine that getting off your seat can be such a painful experience?
One extra painful session I told Eric that if I’m suffering he has to work too. “Counting in Hebrew” I argued, “would make my suffering more tolerable, friendlier, as I’d suffer to the sounds of my native language.” Since he already mastered his English, now it was time for Hebrew. By now, Eric’s Hebrew vocabulary includes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, left, right, please/you’re welcome, thank you, stop, more. All put to painful use regularly!
Another session, hating & hurting the endurance torture of side plank, I asked Eric to sing for as long as he wants me to endure. He did. Still does. I can’t help laughing every time this goes on. Laughing takes the pain away. Sometimes however, the musical choice is less than great.
With time, more and more gym torturers were informed of their correct job title. All accepted the title with a smile. Some returned the favor, encouraging Eric to push me further; torture is as torturer does.
It was three months before I recognized a change I was willing to admit. You see, gym is not the place for one to lose weight. It’s the place to replace fat with muscle. Over one session, as I was explaining the Pareto principle, I got in return Eric’s Pareto gym version. “You work out for one hour day; you got 23 hours to eat [destroy] its benefits.”
I didn’t end the torture sessions once Eran’s gift expired. How could I end something which contributes to my benefit and health? Am I saying it’s a bad gift? Guilt kicks in, and I’m at the gym.
The exercise bike that occupies too much space in my living room gets used regularly now. I got no endorphins rush nor addiction; I don’t think I ever will. What I got is an amazing torturer that keeps it interesting, entertaining, accommodating. And some results + commitment and guilt.
Few weeks ago, the day’s torture was a series of exercises, involving do 15 X, do treadmill, do 20 Y, back to treadmill, do 15 Z, back to treadmill. I thought that Eric long ago made peace with my NO RUNNING veto. And yet he tried again. Running veto means that I’m happy with 3.8 mi/hr walking, regardless of incline. “I want you to go up to 4.5 m/h” asked Eric.
“What’s in it for me” I asked without blushing. I rejected the first proposal; accepted the one of two home-baked breads; zucchini and banana. Treadmill setting went to 4.5, and my guilt for getting such a great bargain brought me back to the gym the following day to walk 1.5 miles @ 4.5 m/h to make it a fair deal. To my astonishment, not only I got the breads, but the recipes were altered to reduce the fat, cholesterol and calorie intake involved. That’s commitment.
Still here? I had no idea I have so much to be thankful for. So what’s with the jump? Other than the no running veto, I vetoed the rope jumping/skipping. I have no good justification for vetoing jumps. Still, I won’t. Meanwhile, six months into reforming my habits, Eric earned his very own ringtone. in case you didn’t yet guess, it’s a cut of Flo Rida’s Jump. Well deserved. Thank you, Eric.